The M249 collapsible butt stock project was in response to a U.S. Army Sergeant's (stationed in Iraq) request to have a collapsible butt stock similar to what is used on the M4 assault rifle. Changing combat conditions and soldier comfort drove the need for this adjustable item. The available paratrooper collapsible stock exists, but without adjustability and features desired in the fixed stock. Using his ingenuity, this sergeant adapted an M4 collapsible butt stock to his M249 SAW. While functional, this adaptation lacked the stan-dard vertical shoulder and chin rest as well as the robustness needed in the field for this heavy weapon.
ARDEC at Picatinny Arsenal New Jersey and Savit teamed up to develop a new collapsible butt stock specifically designed for the M249. This new design would need to utilize the current hydraulic buffer as an interface which limited engineering options. Combining our skills and creativity, a superior design was documented and several early prototypes were produced using production tooling. By fate, two Special Forces sergeants arrived the day we performed several engineering tests on these early versions. We seized the opportunity to discuss this design with two Special Forces Sergeants and as a result, we were rewarded with positive feedback with a request to personally field test the unit. Their input resulted in changes to the telescoping locking lever which incorporated a "witches chin" hand rest. This feature is similar to the existing M249 fixed stock. The soldiers felt strongly that this new butt stock would be perfect for the troops and would have an immediate impact in the battle conditions they are currently faced with in Iraq. The M249 Collapsible butt stocks are to be field tested in Iraq by several special forces units with the purpose of assessing the design in realtime battle conditions.
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